About eight times a year, I attend the music commission meeting of my diocese. It’s one of the few opportunities I have to chat with colleagues from other parishes and from the chancery.
Some mixed news from my friends today. One of our members is leaving his church position to enter seminary for a nearby archdiocese. Another member was informed that despite high performance reviews, his job is being restructured from music to music-plus-liturgy. He was invited to apply with other candidates for an open position, but understandably chose to decline this “vote of confidence.” Why do pastors shoot themselves so badly in the foot? It’s hard enough to find a concert-quality organist who can enhance a parish music program every possible upward direction. You want to roll the dice to find somebody with both a liturgy and music background? Nothing like alienating a whole music ministry, parents and students, and others while heading into the expense and the unknown of a job search.
I’ll also be finishing up on the Commission this year, having completed my three-year term. I could renew for another 36 months, but with our parish likely heading into a major building campaign, plus my other ministry at a children’s hospital, I think I have enough to keep me busy.
Our diocesan liturgy director reported on NPM’s Winter Colloquium in Arlington, Virginia. It prompted a lot of … vigorous discussion at our meeting today. The inside news is that the CDWDS and the pope are pushing for an English implementation “with due speed.” Perhaps they overlook that was the problem the first time in the late 60’s. Liam will be disappointed to know that a significant transition period is pretty much off the table. When the new translation comes out–which could still be as far in the future as five years–we will have six months to a year to implement.
There doesn’t seem to be any concern from Rome on a list of songs, hymns, and psalms. Apparantly episcopal oversight in the publishers’ sees will be deemed sufficient.
I asked about vernacular-original prayers in other language groups. At the moment it’s unclear if the Italians and others will be able to keep their well-rendered “alternate” prayers when their language groups are asked to comply with Liturgiam Authenticam.
While GIA was telling parishes last Fall that they will offer supplements to parishes that have bought their hymnals, there may be some backtracking from that position. Apparently, some composers are telling the publisher that perhaps it’s time to give some old compositions an honorable rest. No word on exactly who and what was covered by that sentiment, so maybe the MoC will be put to bed.
The publishers are strongly urging parish musicians not to adapt old Mass settings themselves. Apart from copyright problems, there’s the recognition that different musicians would adapt Mass settings in different ways: a problem for parish-hoppers.
I had to leave early to run a Holy Week-related errand, then pick up my daughter at school. We had a nice discussion on the way home about lots of things. I love having mature conversations with a ten-year-old.